Trail Blazers could plan to target JaVale McGee or Dwight Howard if Hassan Whiteside leaves

Photo: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Hassan Whiteside is unlikely to return to a backup role behind Jusuf Nurkic, so the Portland Trail Blazers could pursue JaVale McGee or Dwight Howard.

Without Nurkic this season, Whiteside proved that he is a more-than-capable starting center, averaging 16.3 points, 14.2 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game.

Whiteside will likely get a shot as starting center on another team.

If he does in fact leave in the offseason, McGee or Howard could be valuable, inexpensive backup centers for a healthy Nurkic.

McGee and Howard were productive this season in their roles for the Los Angeles Lakers.

McGee averaged 6.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game (16.8 minutes per game) while Howard averaged 7.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game (19.2 minutes per game).

Zach Collins is also an option to pickup minutes off the bench at the center position.

He only played three games this season after having surgery to repair his left labrum last November.